Updated: Feb 17
Would you agree that we should pray? However, many also find it hard to be consistent in prayer. But, prayer is essential in the life of a believer who is growing. There are countless references to prayer in the Word of God. The Bible states we are to “pray without ceasing,” and “in everything give thanks to the Lord.” We truly grow in intimacy with God through communion with Him in prayer. I used to have a regular and close prayer life with the Lord when my kids took a nap at the same time. That did not last very long at all. Although I lead my kids in regular prayer and our family has been pretty consistent with nightly devotions and prayer, I have found that I cannot really be growing much in my walk with God if I am not spending personal time with Him. As a homeschooling mom, I had to keep evolving my prayer life in order to get that connected time with God. These are some of the practical ways that I have discovered to help me maintain a consistent prayer life:
Go Straight to Prayer: When it is my time to spend with God, go straight to it;, do not load the dishwasher first or fold a load of laundry or any other household task because that will take up more time than anticipated and keep you from spending time with God.
Go Outside: As a homeschooling mom, my home is also my place of business. So, I have found it easier to go outside to pray because it gets me away from all of the distractions that can tempt my mind instead of being in God’s presence. I have even taken my kids to the park so that I could fit in some prayer time. Don’t worry, I keep an eye on my kids while also praying.
Pray while Exercising: Before the injury I had last year, I was a regular runner. God truly makes the very best running partner. Some of the strongest leadings from God that I have experienced have come during my runs with God when I take the time to talk to Him and then listen back. I can really focus on hearing God because I am not distracted by anything around my home that is sending me a “to do” signal.
Pray while Performing Other Everyday Activities: Here are just some of the ways I have incorporated prayer into daily tasks: when doing laundry, pray for your kids and husband as you fold their clothes; when showering, take the time to focus on God and pray; while driving, turn off the radio and just pray; when changing a diaper, pray for that child; pray while doing the dishes - this will make you look forward to dishes; and pray during middle of the night feedings for your baby.
Get up Early: Set your alarm to peel yourself out of bed before your kids. I have found it hard to get out of bed earlier than everyone else. However, when I set that appointment with God, I remind myself that God is sitting and waiting for me to meet Him. I picture Him sitting next to my chair when I am laying in bed and don’t really want to get up. It causes me to muster up the strength to pull myself out of bed; eventually, I am always glad I did. And, God is always faithful to keep the appointment - I am the one who is not always faithful.
Announce Your Quiet Time: Tell my kids that I am having my quiet time with God. Let the kids see me spending time with God and let them know that they may not interrupt me unless it is an emergency. It is a good practice to help with consistency if you determine a set time or period of day for this. If you have small children - keep it short - 10 to 15 minutes. It is good parenting to let your children see you spending time with God. Faith is caught more than it is taught.
Journal Your Prayers: I read a Scripture or passage and reflect on what God is saying to me. I also reflect on the day that is almost complete and seek insight into how God may want me to respond or change. I write down my prayer requests and really share my heart and concerns. I think this is the model of prayer that David showed us in the Psalms that are attributed to his authorship. David poured out his heart to the Lord. He was honest about the negative emotions, but He always ended by affirming Who God is and trust that God was sovereign. I love the authenticity that David demonstrated with God. I am finding that God reveals some things that were in my subconscious that I didn’t realize were there. Writing helps me to articulate what was below the surface and grow from it. It also is an effective way for me to deal with some negative emotions I have - much healthier than venting or unloading negative emotions on someone else. I have found that this type of prayer is really beneficial for feeding my own soul. The few minutes I spend each night journaling my prayer requests and talking to the Lord in this manner fill me with the power of His spirit. You can just write paragraphs, or if you are more creative, you can do bullet journals. Research by Dr. Maxwell outlined in his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, indicates that it takes about 21 days for a new habit to be formed. I suggest taking the 21 day journaling challenge to see if you can form a new habit of journaling each day to express your thoughts and prayer requests to God. Commit to 21 days of daily journaling and see if the Holy Spirit might help you to create a new habit of prayer. If you miss a day, start over again and keep going until you make it to 21 consecutive days.
Draw Your Prayers: You can also do an art journal to convey your prayers to God. You do not have to be a creative soul to enjoy this type of prayer. Just the act of doodling your prayer requests may help you to be more focused in your prayer time. This may be especially helpful if you are a visual or kinesthetic learner. Just the act of drawing while praying may help you to be more meditative with your prayers.
Use a Prayer APP: There are numerous APPs on both Android and Apple Platforms that lead in prayer topics and can help you stay intentional and consistent. Two that I can recommend are: pray.com and PrayerMate.
Pray God’s Word: Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrows; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Because God’s Word is living, it is powerful. I sometimes choose to take a verse or portion of Scripture and pray it to God. Some of my favorite Scriptures to pray are the Psalms and portions of Isaiah.
All of these ideas can also be used for teaching your kids how to pray without ceasing.